SYDNEY (AP) — Daniil Medvedev helped Russia to a 3-0 sweep of its pool matches to join Australia, Serbia and Britain in the quarterfinals of the inaugural ATP Cup on Tuesday.
Medvedev clinched victory against Norway by beating Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-6 (6) in Perth. Karen Khachanov had already routed Victor Durasovic 6-2, 6-1.
The fifth-ranked Medvedev will join Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, undefeated Australia and probably Rafael Nadal in Sydney for the knockout stages starting on Thursday. Only an unlikely 3-0 loss to Japan on Wednesday would stop Nadal and his Spanish Davis Cup-winning teammates from making the quarterfinals.
Australia will play Britain for a spot in the final four after Britain swept past Moldova 3-0 without dropping a set and then took advantage of Bulgaria losing to Belgium 2-1 to finish first in Group C. After David Goffin beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, Belgium rallied from a match and a set down to take the group match in Sydney.
The loss was costly for the previously unbeaten Bulgarians, who fell to third in their group and out of contention for a quarterfinal spot as one of the best two group runners-up.
Australia, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals by topping Group F, clinched a win over Greece in Brisbane where Nick Kyrgios defeated a hot-tempered Stefanos Tsitsipas. Kyrgios returned from a back injury to claim a 7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5) win at Pat Rafter Arena.
After losing the first set, Tsitsipas slammed his racket into the bench, accidentally hitting his father and Greece captain Apostolos Tsitsipas on the forearm. His father walked away briefly before Tsitsipas’ mother, Julia, emerged from the crowd to stand behind the bench and criticize her son for his behavior.
Earlier, John Millman of Australia beat Michail Pervolarakis 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1).
British No. 1 Dan Evans outclassed Radu Albot 6-2 6-2 to clinch their match after Cameron Norrie downed Alexander Cozbinov by the same scoreline.
Britain captain Tim Henman said he’s looking forward to the quarterfinal against Australia.
“I have a lot of history with (Australia captain) Lleyton (Hewitt) and everyone knows the team well. It would be a big challenge, but we would love that opportunity,” Henman said.
Also in Brisbane, Canada eliminated Germany 2-1.
Alexander Zverev made seven double faults in losing to Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-2 after Jan-Lennard Struff put Germany ahead defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-4.
But Zverev’s loss and a 6-3, 7-6 (4) doubles win for Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime over Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies gave Canada the win.
With a 2-1 record in pool play, Canada can still quality for the quarterfinals as one of the best two group runners-up.
Zverev has 31 double faults in 31 service games in the tournament. He said an offseason exhibition tour in South America with Roger Federer left him behind in his preparations.
“I had like five days less than I normally have … I didn’t practice a lot of tennis,” he said. “You can see that on the tennis court. There are a lot of things that I still need to improve.”
In the night match at Perth, Italy took a winning 2-0 lead over the United States. Fabio Fognini beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5) and Stefano Travaglia defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1).
The six group winners and two best second-place finishers advance. Two quarterfinals are set for Thursday and two more on Friday. The semifinals are on Saturday and the final on Sunday at Ken Rosewall Arena.
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